Repair And Restore Your Smile Without Metal
If you’ve ever seen inside the mouth of someone with metal fillings, you know how distracting those restorations can be. What you may not know is that those metal fillings cause problems outside of aesthetics. With metal fillings, patients often have to deal with excess sensitivity, significant enamel damage, shock, staining, and other issues that have caused them to fall out of favor. Fortunately, if you need dental repair, Drs. Bahng and Chang of JB Dental Associates can offer composite dental fillings as an alternative.
What Are Composite Dental Fillings?
Composite dental fillings, also called tooth-colored, mercury-free, and white fillings, are restorations that use materials besides metal. Composite fillings are usually made from resin mixed with high-quality glass, quartz, and porcelain. Just like metal fillings, composite fillings are used to treat dental damage such as chips, cracks, and cavities. However, these alternative restorations come with some distinct benefits that have seen them favored over gold and silver or amalgam fillings.
Benefits of Composite Dental Fillings
- Natural Appearance — Composite fillings are customized to match your natural smile, an impossible-to-achieve effect when your fillings are gold or silver.
- Insulated — Gold and silver fillings can interact with other metal dental restorations of differing compositions, generating an electrical charge and shocking the inside of your mouth. This phenomenon is called galvanic shock. Fortunately, the materials used in composite fillings are insulators that won’t generate electricity, preventing galvanic shock.
- Non-Toxic/Hypoallergenic — Silver fillings often contain a toxic metal called mercury, which can produce toxic vapor when you bite down on them. Additionally, both gold and silver fillings may cause negative reactions in patients who are allergic to these materials. The materials used in composite fillings are non-toxic and hypoallergenic, making your restorations safer.
- Temperature Resistant — Composite fillings don’t expand and contract when they come into contact with hot and cold. This reduces the stress put on the inside of the tooth, preventing sensitivity and helping to maintain the tooth’s structural integrity.
- Preserves Enamel — Composite fillings require far less of your natural enamel to be removed to make room for them, which helps further preserve the structural integrity of the surrounding tooth.
- Hardens Quickly — Your dentist will harden your composite fillings almost instantly with a special hand-held blue light. This means you can start enjoying your new smile almost immediately after you leave the dentist’s chair.
The Composite Fillings Process
Before you can undergo treatment with composite fillings, your dentist will have you undergo an initial consultation. During your consultation, your dentist will perform a thorough dental exam and review your medical history to determine your current level of oral health.
Additionally, they’ll ask you about your smile goals to learn what you’re hoping to gain from your treatment. Your dentist can also offer sedation dentistry options to help the process go more smoothly if you struggle with dental anxiety.
Preparing Your Teeth For Composite Fillings
Once you and your dentist have both decided that composite fillings are the right treatment option for you, your dentist will prepare your teeth for your composite fillings. First, we’ll apply a local anesthetic to the soft tissues around the affected teeth or tooth so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. Then, your dentist will remove any damaged or decayed tooth material and thoroughly clean the tooth.
Installing Your Composite Fillings
Once the affected tooth is completely sterile, your dentist will apply the resin in layers and harden each layer with the hand-held blue light. Once the filling is set, you’ll be free to fully enjoy your new smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do composite dental fillings cost?
The exact cost of your composite fillings will depend on multiple factors including how many teeth require restorations, the extent of the damage, and your insurance coverage plan. We encourage you to call your provider beforehand and ask them which costs they can cover. If you still need help paying for your treatment, don’t worry. To help our patients afford the very best in dental care, we provide special offers such as an in-house membership plan and financing options, including third-party financing through CareCredit.
How long do composite fillings last?
Composite fillings are designed to last 10 to 15 years. To extend the longevity of your restorations, you’ll need to practice proper oral hygiene and visit our Sterling, VA office at least once every six months for regular dental exams. Practicing proper oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for regular exams will help extend the life of your restorations and maintain your overall oral health.
Are composite fillings the same as dental bonding?
Composite fillings are not the same as dental bonding. While dental bonding can be used to address certain cosmetic and restorative dental concerns, your dentist will likely recommend composite fillings for more severe dental damage.
Do composite fillings change color?
Composite fillings can become stained over time. If you want to preserve the look of your filling, our dentists recommend you continue to practice regular oral hygiene, visit our Sterling, VA office for regular dental exams and professional cleanings, and avoid foods and drinks that can stain your restorations including:
- Red wine
- Dark berries
- Dark soda
Skip The Metal, Restore Your Smile With Composite Dental Fillings
Today, you don’t have to worry about the drawbacks and disadvantages of metal fillings. Drs. Bahng and Chang of JB Dental Associates can repair your teeth, protect against further damage, and help your smile look beautiful. Our dentists are proud members of prestigious dental associations such as the Academy of General Dentistry and the Northern Virginia Dental Society. They’re ready and eager to offer their years of combined experience to serve patients in Sterling, VA as well as surrounding areas including Arlington, Fairfax, and Rockville, VA.
To learn more about the many benefits of composite dental fillings, call our Sterling, VA office by dialing (703) 444-4188. You can also fill out the contact form in the upper right-hand corner of the page and one of our friendly staff will get back to you shortly.